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High diversity and low specificity of chaetothyrialean fungi in carton galleries in a neotropical ant-plant association.

Nepel M, Voglmayr H, Schönenberger J, Mayer VE - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: The carton of the gallery walls consists of masticated plant material densely pervaded by chaetothyrialean hyphae.In order to characterise the specificity of the ant-fungus association, fungi from the runway galleries of 19 ant colonies were grown as pure cultures and analyzed using partial SSU, complete ITS, 5.8S and partial LSU rDNA sequences.This indicates that there can be a dominant fungus but, in general, a wider guild of chaetothyrialean fungi share the same ant mutualist in Azteca brevis.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Division of Structural and Functional Botany, Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

ABSTRACT
New associations have recently been discovered between arboreal ants that live on myrmecophytic plants, and different groups of fungi. Most of the - usually undescribed - fungi cultured by the ants belong to the order Chaetothyriales (Ascomycetes). Chaetothyriales occur in the nesting spaces provided by the host plant, and form a major part of the cardboard-like material produced by the ants for constructing nests and runway galleries. Until now, the fungi have been considered specific to each ant species. We focus on the three-way association between the plant Tetrathylacium macrophyllum (Salicaceae), the ant Azteca brevis (Formicidae: Dolichoderinae) and various chaetothyrialean fungi. Azteca brevis builds extensive runway galleries along branches of T. macrophyllum. The carton of the gallery walls consists of masticated plant material densely pervaded by chaetothyrialean hyphae. In order to characterise the specificity of the ant-fungus association, fungi from the runway galleries of 19 ant colonies were grown as pure cultures and analyzed using partial SSU, complete ITS, 5.8S and partial LSU rDNA sequences. This gave 128 different fungal genotypes, 78% of which were clustered into three monophyletic groups. The most common fungus (either genotype or approximate species-level OTU) was found in the runway galleries of 63% of the investigated ant colonies. This indicates that there can be a dominant fungus but, in general, a wider guild of chaetothyrialean fungi share the same ant mutualist in Azteca brevis.

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Phylogram of Chaetothyriales, bottom part.Continuation of Figure 2 with arrowheads indicating the connection. For label and colour descriptions see legend to Figure 2. The clade labelled with an asterisk (*) is placed more basally (arrow) in the MP analysis than in ML and BA analyses. Note the domatia-symbiont clade, which remains distinct from carton fungi.
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pone-0112756-g003: Phylogram of Chaetothyriales, bottom part.Continuation of Figure 2 with arrowheads indicating the connection. For label and colour descriptions see legend to Figure 2. The clade labelled with an asterisk (*) is placed more basally (arrow) in the MP analysis than in ML and BA analyses. Note the domatia-symbiont clade, which remains distinct from carton fungi.

Mentions: (A, B) Galleries on the lower side of branches of Tetrathylacium macrophyllum: note the scattered circular openings in the gallery walls. (B) Alarmed workers wait with open mandibles below the holes for prey or intruders. (C, D) Scanning electron microscope images of the gallery walls infused with different types of hyphae. (E, F) Light-microscope images of both hyphal types: (E) thin-walled hyaline hyphae typical for carton clades 2 and 3; (F) pigmented thick-walled hyphae typical for carton clade 1 (see Figure 2–3). Bars: (A, B) 1 cm; (C, D) 100 µm; (E, F) 20 µm.


High diversity and low specificity of chaetothyrialean fungi in carton galleries in a neotropical ant-plant association.

Nepel M, Voglmayr H, Schönenberger J, Mayer VE - PLoS ONE (2014)

Phylogram of Chaetothyriales, bottom part.Continuation of Figure 2 with arrowheads indicating the connection. For label and colour descriptions see legend to Figure 2. The clade labelled with an asterisk (*) is placed more basally (arrow) in the MP analysis than in ML and BA analyses. Note the domatia-symbiont clade, which remains distinct from carton fungi.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4232418&req=5

pone-0112756-g003: Phylogram of Chaetothyriales, bottom part.Continuation of Figure 2 with arrowheads indicating the connection. For label and colour descriptions see legend to Figure 2. The clade labelled with an asterisk (*) is placed more basally (arrow) in the MP analysis than in ML and BA analyses. Note the domatia-symbiont clade, which remains distinct from carton fungi.
Mentions: (A, B) Galleries on the lower side of branches of Tetrathylacium macrophyllum: note the scattered circular openings in the gallery walls. (B) Alarmed workers wait with open mandibles below the holes for prey or intruders. (C, D) Scanning electron microscope images of the gallery walls infused with different types of hyphae. (E, F) Light-microscope images of both hyphal types: (E) thin-walled hyaline hyphae typical for carton clades 2 and 3; (F) pigmented thick-walled hyphae typical for carton clade 1 (see Figure 2–3). Bars: (A, B) 1 cm; (C, D) 100 µm; (E, F) 20 µm.

Bottom Line: The carton of the gallery walls consists of masticated plant material densely pervaded by chaetothyrialean hyphae.In order to characterise the specificity of the ant-fungus association, fungi from the runway galleries of 19 ant colonies were grown as pure cultures and analyzed using partial SSU, complete ITS, 5.8S and partial LSU rDNA sequences.This indicates that there can be a dominant fungus but, in general, a wider guild of chaetothyrialean fungi share the same ant mutualist in Azteca brevis.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Division of Structural and Functional Botany, Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

ABSTRACT
New associations have recently been discovered between arboreal ants that live on myrmecophytic plants, and different groups of fungi. Most of the - usually undescribed - fungi cultured by the ants belong to the order Chaetothyriales (Ascomycetes). Chaetothyriales occur in the nesting spaces provided by the host plant, and form a major part of the cardboard-like material produced by the ants for constructing nests and runway galleries. Until now, the fungi have been considered specific to each ant species. We focus on the three-way association between the plant Tetrathylacium macrophyllum (Salicaceae), the ant Azteca brevis (Formicidae: Dolichoderinae) and various chaetothyrialean fungi. Azteca brevis builds extensive runway galleries along branches of T. macrophyllum. The carton of the gallery walls consists of masticated plant material densely pervaded by chaetothyrialean hyphae. In order to characterise the specificity of the ant-fungus association, fungi from the runway galleries of 19 ant colonies were grown as pure cultures and analyzed using partial SSU, complete ITS, 5.8S and partial LSU rDNA sequences. This gave 128 different fungal genotypes, 78% of which were clustered into three monophyletic groups. The most common fungus (either genotype or approximate species-level OTU) was found in the runway galleries of 63% of the investigated ant colonies. This indicates that there can be a dominant fungus but, in general, a wider guild of chaetothyrialean fungi share the same ant mutualist in Azteca brevis.

Show MeSH